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Full text of "NightRider"

almost barefoot. His beard was matted with mud and small
fragments of dry leaf. He was nearly starving. He remem-
bered nothing. When the boys questioned him he put the
knuckle of his right forefinger into his mouth, like a con-
fused and frightened child, and peered from face to face.
When they built a bonfire and tried to warm him, he was so
terrified that they had to hold him. After a little while he
became quiet in their grasp, but he kept shaking hib head
like a sick man who is too weak to protest otherwise against
an injustice, and the tears flowed silently and resignedly out
of his red-rimmed eyes.

Later, he was identified and sent to his home. His health
gradually improved, and by spring he was able to go about
his ordinary occupations. But he could never remember
what had happened that night when his barn was burned,
nor in the two weeks when he wandered over the country-
side hiding in the woods and ditches.

Toward the end of the curing period the numbers of burn-
ings over the section increased. Just before the elections
violent encounters were frequent between peaceful and re-
spectable men. Prayers were offered from the pulpits that
order might be restored, and sometimes that the injustice
that had caused the disorder and the lifting of the hand of
brother against brother might be corrected. " Hit's a curse,"
Mr. Grimes said to Mr, Munn, " laid on to the land, hit looks
lak."

Mr. Munn stood in front of the stable door and tightened
the girth on his mare. Mr, Grimes had climbed the fence
to the lot, getting stiffly and awkwardly over the whitewashed
boards, and had slowly approached Mr. Munn.

"Howdy-do," he had greeted him, and then, after Mr.
Munn's reply, had stood and studied the light that faintly
tinted the edges of the slate-coloured clouds on the western
horizon. The sun was already out of sight. Then, at last, lie
said, "I'm a-leave-en." He did not take his gaze off the
western sky, "Come January," he added. "I thought Fd
be a-tdlen you."